Bolludagur — or Bun Day — kicks of a three-day stretch of extravagance and deliciousness before the beginning of Lent. Held on Shrove Monday (February 28 this year), the holiday starts early, with children waking their parents by smacking them with decorated paddles and yelling “bolla, bolla, bolla!,” after which the eponymous pastry is devoured. This simple cream-filled choux pastry is often drizzled with chocolate or customized with any variety of toppings and fillings.
Delicious recipes can be found here, here, or here, (or just google “Icelandic bolla”).
Following the indulgence of Bolludagur, folks fill their bellies during Sprengidagur (or Bursting Day, March 1), Iceland’s answer to Fat Tuesday. The traditional food is saltkjöt og baunir, or salted-meat and split-pea soup (recipe here, or here.)
The trio of festive food holidays draws to a close with Öskudagur (Ashes Day, or Ash Wednesday), when chidden dress in costume and visit shops, asking for candy. Unlike American Halloween, Icelandic children earn their sweet treats with a song.
Have a sweet treat, remembering that the harshness of winter will soon be at an end.